Seasonal and Spatial Variability of PM2.5 Concentration, and Associated Metal(loid) Content in the Toluca Valley, Mexico

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2022 Dec;109(6):1175-1182. doi: 10.1007/s00128-022-03610-7. Epub 2022 Sep 7.


This study provides evidence of the seasonal and spatial variation of metal(lloid)s in particulate matter minor to 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in the Toluca Valley Metropolitan Area (TVMA), the fifth largest urban center in Mexico. Four sites were sampled between 2013 and 2014, which included urban and industrial areas, in the dry-cold (November-February) and dry-hot (March-May) seasons; PM2.5 was collected using high- and medium-volume samplers. Metal(lloid) concentrations in PM2.5 were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma‒mass spectrometry (ICP‒MS). The highest 24-hour PM2.5 concentration in the northern area was observed, and the PM2.5 concentrations were independent of the season. Five metal(lloid)s with a recovery percentage above 80% were considered to be reported (Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, and Sb). The maximum concentrations of metal(lloid)s were observed during the dry-cold season, and concentrations were up to one hundred or thousand fold with respect to the dry-hot season. The 24-hour PM2.5 and metal(lloid) concentrations exceeded national and international guidelines to protect population health.

Keywords: Metals and metalloids; PM2.5; Seasonal and site variation; Toluca valley.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Metals / analysis
  • Mexico
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Seasons


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter
  • Metals